Spears don’t have the infrastructure to play in 2007 Super

Phillip Joseph, Eastern Province Rugby Union CEO spoke on the weekend about the ongoing debacle between SARugby and the Spears which is partially owned by Eastern Province Rugby Union and he admitted to Liam Del Carme of Beeld that the Spears cannot appear in the 2007 Super 14.

“We know the Spears do not have the infrastructure to participate in the competition next year but we also realize rugby in the region will deteriorate if we do not play Super 14 rugby.” He said.

The main bone of contention now appears to be not that SARugby want to exclude the Spears next year that SARugby wants the Spears to play in a promotion-relegation match against the SA team finishing last on the log only in 2008.

“This is unacceptable to us. We have a court order that makes it clear that we should participate in next year’s competition. But we are willing to negotiate. We believe our position should be entrenched for at least the 2008 competition,” Joseph said.

SARugby’s previous plan to oust the Spears was to buy the EP shares and after acquiring shares in the other unions (Border and South Western Districts) that make up the Spears Super 14 franchise they looked to have found a way to keep the Spears out.

But the EP shareholders then said that they will not sell their shares and without the EP shares, the Spears’ participation in the Super 14 competition of 2007 cannot be stopped by SARugby.

Speaking on the weekend Phillip Joseph gave SARugby a little hope in their crusade by saying that EPRFU was still willing to negotiate with SA rugby about the possible sale of shares.

The smart money says that SARugby will win in the end and the Fifth SA team will the Lions.

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